Like a Margarita on steroids
Margaritas are luscious. But maybe you’re ready for advanced imbibing?
Enter the Prado Cocktail, which takes Margarita magic to the next level. It substitutes maraschino liqueur for triple sec, making for edgier flavor. And it incorporates egg white, which adds a great-looking foamy head to the drink.
Looks good. Drinks better.
Recipe: The Prado Cocktail
The Prado Cocktail traditionally is made with tequila, maraschino liqueur, lime juice, and egg white. It’s even better with mezcal.
Egg whites add foamy fun to cocktails. But separating eggs can be a pain (plus there’s the raw-egg health risk). Well, good news! We’ve discovered a commercial egg-white substitute that’s easy to use and good quality. More in the Notes.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to make and serves 1.
- 2 ounces blanco/silver tequila (though we like to substitute mezcal; see Notes)
- 1 ounce maraschino liqueur
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 egg white (may substitute commercial cocktail foamer; see Notes)
- garnish of lime wheel or twist (optional)
- Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice (but see Notes for an alternative method). Shake very vigorously until the contents are well chilled and frothy (at least 30 seconds).
- Strain into a cocktail glass, preferably one that has been chilled. Add garnish, if desired, and serve.
- We generally use 1 egg white for every 1 or 2 drinks. You can get by with ½ egg white for 1 drink, but it’s such a bother trying to measure it out that we just use the whole white.
- Shaking egg whites with ice inhibits the creation of foam. So we often shake first without ice (we put all the ingredients – except ice and garnish – in a cocktail shaker and shake away). Then we add ice and shake again, just enough to chill the drink.
- The egg white in this drink gives a nice frothy head, which looks great. The foam also provides a pleasing mouthfeel. It doesn’t add flavor, though – it’s all about texture and appearance.
- But, as noted above: Egg white is a bit of a pain to deal with. And eggs carry a slight (but real) risk of salmonella. So many of us are reluctant to use egg whites in cocktails.
- Pasteurized egg whites and egg whites sold in cartons don’t work as well in cocktails as fresh eggs (we find it hard to create a satisfactory foam). And if you’re vegan, they’re still a no-go.
- One readily available substitute is aquafaba (the packing juice in cans of chickpeas). Just use about the same amount of aquafaba as you would egg whites (say, ¾ ounce).
- Or you could use commercial egg-white foamer. Just add a tiny amount to the cocktail shaker and shake (with ice) as you normally would. Instant foam!
- We like the brand from Fee Brothers called, appropriately enough, Fee Foam. This comes in a 5-ounce bottle (it looks like a bottle of bitters). And, as with bitters, you need just a few dashes per cocktail – we use 3 or 4.
- We’ve also heard good things about Ms Betters Bitters Miraculous Foamer, but we haven’t tried that yet.
- Commercial foamer is very easy to use (plus it’s vegan). And unlike egg whites, it won’t separate from the drink – which is good if you’re a slow sipper.
- We haven’t been able to detect a flavor in commercial foamer (though some people claim it has a slight soapy taste).
- The only negative we’ve observed with commercial foamer: The mouthfeel isn’t quite as luxurious as that of a drink made with egg whites.
- The Prado Cocktail traditionally is made with silver (blanco) tequila. But we think mezcal works even better.
- All tequila is actually a form of mezcal, and both are made from the agave plant. Tequila is made only from blue agave, while mezcal can be made from many different agave species.
- Mezcal has a haunting, smoky flavor (because it’s usually produced in small batches over a wood or charcoal fire).
- Bottles of mezcal allegedly contain a “worm” – actually a moth larva (in other words, a caterpillar). In reality, though, most high-quality mezcals are wormless. Which might be a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view.
- The history of the Prado Cocktail is somewhat obscure. As far as we know, a recipe for it first appeared in print during the 1970s in Jones’ Complete Barguide, a compendium of some 4000 recipes. Beyond that, not much is known.
- BTW, “prado” means a grassy meadow or field in Spanish.
- Our recipe differs a bit from the standard formula, which calls for 1½ ounces tequila, ½ ounce maraschino liqueur, ¾ ounce lime juice, and ½ ounce egg white (about half an egg white). It’s good, but we think our version is better. Our recipe isn’t original – we’ve seen this variation many places on the interwebs. It may have originated at the Zig Zag Café in Seattle.
“Taste test time!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs, exchanging her glass for mine. “Which version do you like better, tequila or mezcal?”
“They’re both delish,” I said. “But I really like the one you’re drinking now. Let’s switch again.”
“I’m losing track of which is which,” said Mrs K R, handing me her glass.
“The mezcal version is definitely better,” I said. “More pizzazz.”
“You probably got the worm,” said Mrs K R.
Guess that’s why I’m wriggling with delight.
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